Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cardiac Snow

Yesterday morning we woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland. Cardiac snow is great for photography. It's very wet and sticks to everything. So I took a bit longer to get into work. Here are a few images that were taken.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What is It

The first two people that saw this image each thought it was something very different from what it is. What is it?

The image was taken along the North Shore on Minnesota.


Backup, Backup, Backup

Last week I decided that my internal hard drive needed some relief. This Raid-0 500gb drive had just over 1gb free. So I thought I would move my 100+ gb of 20D files to an external drive where I had previously moved my 300D files.

Fortunately for me backing up my data has been a long standing routine. My career has been in the systems side of IBM mainframe shops and backing up data is a big deal in IT. So I have always backed up my data. I always preferred unattended backups and I've owned a number of tape systems over the years but use hard drives now.

My tool of choice for moving my 20D files is Lightroom. Lightroom contains all of the info on my images so it is really the only choice. But Lightroom really moves the files, meaning the source copy is deleted. So before I began I made sure my backup was in place.

Moving 100+gb of images in Lightroom is a time consuming process. Towards the end I started getting write errors on the 500gb destination drive. To make a longer story shorter the destination drive was chock full of errors and the quality of my files were consistently inconsistent.

As it turned out my 300D files were never copied to my backup drives but I was fortunate that I could get them safely off the errant drive loosing just a few images in the process.

I proceeded to rebuild my image files for my backups. I keep two sets of backups. The first is the destination for nightly SyncToy, a freebe Microsoft tool, synchronizations. This insures that I will loose no more than 1 days worth of work. The second level is an unscheduled but regularly run synchronization of my first level backup to a second level backup. This second level is my safety net. It is not as up to date as the first but if all else fails I 'should' have a copy.

As I was rebuilding my 20D images I discovered my first level backup was missing quite a number of images. This was a disconcerting discovery thinking that they were gone. But my second level backup came to the rescue. Since the second level backup isn't subjected to daily updates all of the files were there.

In the ended it took me about a week to get all of my files restored, my daily backups rescheduled and all of my backup copies back in order. It was a chore but all of my files, minus a half dozen, were saved.

One future enhancement to my backup strategy is to use two second level backups. These would be switched back and forth every week or so with the one not in use going to work with me and stored there. One more 1tb drive would give me that option.

So the lesson here is backup, backup, backup. I have heard to many stories of people loosing thousands of digital images due to a hard drive crash. Just think of all the time and money that goes into capturing those images and memories and then how easy it is to go spend $250 for a terabyte drive and start backing up.